Sure, the coaching was poor, and at times, the execution was worse, but details, details! NC State had far from its best effort in Chapel Hill on Saturday, but it gutted out a fourth-quarter rally and a clutch effort in overtime to beat the Tar Heels, 34-28. Hallelujah. Pass the Tylenol.
The Wolfpack methodically moved the ball on its only overtime possession, resulting in a one-yard plunge by Reggie Gallaspy. UNC missed a field goal wide left on its overtime possession, so any score for the Pack would do. Thank the football gods, State did not have to risk a field goal attempt.
Gallaspy had a huge day, running for 129 yards while accounting for all five of NC State’s touchdowns. The Pack’s ground game was entirely useless in the first half but started to find success in the second half as UNC’s defense may have worn down a bit.
The entire first half was a forgettable one for both teams. NC State’s only touchdown came after UNC’s punter dropped a snap in his own end zone and could only get the ball out to about the four. The Tar Heels literally dropped several opportunities for big plays and ended up with just a pair of field goals to show for their efforts. The weather was gross and won a decided victory over the first 30.
The rain relented in the second half, and both offenses woke up, starting with State’s. The Pack came out of the locker room and immediately put together a 75-yard touchdown drive, which began a back-and-forth sequence. UNC answered immediately; NC State scored again; UNC scored again and converted the two-point try to even things at 21.
The Heels took their first lead on a touchdown with about nine minutes left, and as poorly as NC State’s defense had played that half, I was not feeling super optimistic about the outcome. The defense did step up down the stretch, though, and after State got even at 28, it had a chance to drive for a last-second win in regulation.
That, alas, was not meant to be, but hey who cares about that now. In this game we’re gonna take it however we can get it, and we aren’t gonna feel the least bit bad about it. This makes three wins in a row over UNC for the Wolfpack.
Go crazy, folks.